January 27, 2010
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
I caught up with folk duo Christy & Emily during their show at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn this past Saturday. It was more sparsely attended than it should have been because their set was awesome, and, hey, they play fun games that involved passing a mini disco ball around the audience until the music stops, when the person touching it answers a question with a subjectively right answer decided upon by Christy and Emily. They asked, “You live in a three story house. Where are you more afraid to go, the attic or the basement?” The correct answer was the basement, inexplicably. Also, the girls mentor six underserved high school women in music and song creation, all of whom performed as the opening act. Below, Christy & Emily discuss the girls in the viBe SongMakers program, keyboards in Germany, and the Vietnam War.
JM.com: So, do you guys do projected visuals with every show?
Emily: Brock Monroe does them and he came and did our record release at The Stone, also. He had all this water he was using and made this giant mess all over the floor. I think that was the first time.
Christy: Well, we’ve done stuff at Secret Project Robot, and he does stuff there. That’s really how we got started because Secret Project Robot has their Mighty Robot Visual squad and they have a lot of people who are our friends and they do that stuff really all over.
More on Christy & Emily
January 26, 2010
Last time we saw Brooklyn’s Shark?, they were happily covering Beat Happening’s anti-Christmas, Christmas hit, “Christmas” (for good measure, once more, Christmas!). Now they’re doing all sorts of stuff: playing shows, releasing an EP, acting like they are some kind of band. Yeah, okay.
Their EP, Noise Maker is out today, and if it’s half as rowdy as “Hey Grrl,” then it is probably pretty rowdy. As “Brooklyn Garage” becomes a somewhat acceptable tag (ironically, because there are very few carports around here, but “Brooklyn Rented Practice Space” doesn’t really sound genre-fied), Shark? manages to sound consistently fresh. It may be the party-time synths (party-time synths mean ‘time to party’), or the drums that sound like Zach Hill violently beating a 7-11 dumpster. Either way, “Hey Grrl” is infectiously trashy.
Even the spelling of “Grrl” is a little tweaked from the norm. Tons of bands are using AIM-speak in their album titles (the Mae Shi’s HLLYH), song names (uhh..Katy Perry’s “Ur So Gay”) and band names (try LOL, “one of Utah’s finest dance and rock cover bands.” I found this on Google, unable to think of another Internet band name. I am still right). But Shark? takes the typical “grl” shortening, and makes it “grrl,” making the whole thing a bit more animalistic.
Bottom line: this song brings the Pabst keg to the party. You bring the grrls.
Download Shark?’s Noise Maker EP right now.
by Max Sebela
January 25, 2010
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
Brooklyn’s The Lisps express an invaluable sense of camaraderie. Members César Alvarez, Sammy Tunis, Jeremy Hoevenaar, and Eric Farber were full of playful sarcasm, laughter, and affection before a recent rehearsal at Farber’s Fort Greene apartment, where they described to JM.com their band’s development. Originally a group with an old timey sound, their years together have brought them unexpected creative projects, including an indie rock musical and a drum set adorned with found objects.
JM.com: I read that your lineup has changed a bit over the years. How did the four of you here now get together, and how did you start out?
Sammy: César and I met about eleven years ago in college. After we graduated, we dated for a long time, and then we started a band together.
Eric: I met César in, like, 1996 or 1997. My first memory of him is I threw a party at my parents’ house. It was a pool party. They went away for the weekend, and César didn’t bring a bathing suit, but he went naked, which was cool. But then we had this jam session in our basement, and my friend had left the room and had dropped his bass off on the ground. And César was like, “Oh cool, the bass! I’ll play the bass.” And he was playing the bass naked, and my buddy walked back in the room and he got really upset. That’s my earliest memory of César.
More on The Lisps
THIS WEEK IN SHOWS
Alright, I usually write a little blurb about each show I’m recommending, you know, arguing for why you should check it out. But this week I’m recommending these shows all for the same reason: each of them is a benefit for the relief efforts in Haiti. Hopefully you see something you like here, but if not, why not check out something new? Please help us show these artists and venues some love, but more importantly, let’s show a little love to the world outside our little pocket of the city.
MON, JAN. 25
Amber Rubarth, Ian Axel, Vienna Teng, Wes Hutchinson, Ari Hest and more
8:00, $20, 21+
WEDS, JAN. 27
Cold War Kids, Ted Leo, The Wrens, Sondre Lerche, Eugene Mirman, AC Newman
The Bell House
6:00 PM, $50, 21+
El Medio, No Eye Contact, Breakfast in Fur, Drew Citron
8:00 PM, $5 with can of food / $6 without, 21+
The Roots, Kaki King, Eric Krasno & Chapter 2 with John Scofield, Matisyahu
Music Hall of Williamsburg
8:00 PM, $35adv/$40do, 18+
THURS, JAN. 28
Flanagan Smith, Matt Jones, Alyson Greenfield, Charlene Kaye, Outernational, Automa
Public Assembly Back Room
8:00 PM, $10, 21+
SAT, JAN. 30
Blag’ard, The Barrens, Sing With Voices,
7:00 PM, $8, 21+
compiled by Erin Sheehy
Brooklyn Vegan Hosting What Could Be Unquestionably the Hippest Haiti Fundraiser Possible, With Zach Galifianakis, Britt Daniel, Justin Vernon, and St. Vincent – The Only Way This Could Get Hipper Is if Win and Regine Butler Engaged Physically Onstage and Called It “Art” (But Seriously, Go To This. $45 At the Door) [Brooklyn]
Stream Grizzly Bear Covering Hot Chip’s “Boy From School,” Stripping It Down to a Haunting Yellow House Era Dirge, Uncovering Hot Chip as Apparently Brilliant Pop Arrangers, Surprising Every Single Person Who Has Listened to Music. Ever. [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Joanna Newsom’s Have One On Me Has Been Revealed to Be 3-Discs Long, Thus Causing It’s Title to Be Paradoxical; Released February 23 [NME]
Stream What Could Possibly Be a New Song From Daft Punk, “Fragile,” Which Popped Up on a Daft Punk Fansite, and is Allegedly Appearing on the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack. As It Sounds Like it Was Crafted By the Cold, Metallic Hands of Overtly Powerful Robots, I’m Willing to Believe It’s True [Idolator]
Stream Prince’s Minnesota Vikings Fight Song, “Purple and Gold,” Which Will Get Absolutely No Vikings Fans Psyched, and, Knowing Football Fans, Will Result in Many Homophobic Insults Tossed Out at this “Lil Fairy’s Jam” [Spin]
News Slow. I, Like Pitchfork, Take Time to Announce That the Decemberists and Mastodon Recently Faced Off in Bumpercars. We Have Fun. [Pitchfork]
compiled by Max Sebela
January 21, 2010
I’ve been known to criticize buzz bands’ MySpace pages. The now-dated social network, with its limited blog toolsets and style capabilities, sadly remains the very best way for a band to host .mp3s, and can lead to some terrifyingly awful web design. But Hooray For Earth has no excuse. The thing is caked with low res purple text, symmetrically layered behind, that is supposed to disjointedly read “Hooray For Earth” (stay with me, that’s the band name). Behind the text is a VCR display, and what I can only guess is the windshield of a car. Where is the car going? Most likely into bad Myspace hell (which is probably more populated than actual hell (to be fair, bad Myspace hell is probably the same place as actual hell, as one of the lost Commandments was “Thou Shall Not Upload Low Res and Obscured Images As a Background To One’s Social Network”)).
Still, as with Suckers before them, I’m willing to forgive the bizarre/sad/desperate aesthetic choice on merit of the songs. “Surrounded by Your Friends” is the best kind of electro posi-jam, right up there with James Murphy’s “All My Friends.” Simple, 8-bit pulses and drum pads back up the vocals, which are languid and rhythmic, if not slightly apathetic. As the chorus soars in, “In then end, you’re surrounded by your friends,” the listener is forced to smile. Isn’t that what we all wish?
As the world ends, I hope yellow-warm synth kicks in, and I look around, and there are at least a couple of my friends there. A four-minute pop song is able to evoke that – from a band with the worst Myspace page I have ever seen.
Stream it here.
by Max Sebela
LOCAL SPOTLIGHT NYC
Pioneering electronic artist Mark Van Hoen has seen and done a lot within the realm of music in the past 15 years. He started off in such groundbreaking acts such as Seefeel and Scala and went on to his own pivotal solo releases as Locust and under his own moniker, where he toured with huge acts such as Massive Attack and Orbital. Also an amazing producer in his own right, Mark’s work with Mojave 3 and Sing-Sing show his versatility and skill both in front of and behind the mixing board. Since laying low in the states after relocating to Brooklyn a few years back, Van Hoen now returns with a new album and an upcoming show at The Bell House opening for Ulrich Schnauss.
JM.com: When did you relocate to Brooklyn from London and for what reasons?
Mark: I moved here with my family in April 2008. I had always wanted to live here, and the opportunity came up through my wife’s work, so we took it. I had moved from London to Brighton (a small city on the coast of England) and that was really hard for me, being such an urbanite. At the same time, London seemed to have too many old memories, and so New York was such a great opportunity to live in a big city again, and start afresh.
More on Mark Van Hoen
Vampire Weekend is Number One on the Billboard Charts; I Still Claim They Have Many Hurdles to Get Past the ‘Blog Backlash,’ or Can Willfully Ignore It and Begin Sleeping in Piles of Sweet, Sweet Cash that Wasn’t Inherited From a Trust Fund [Brooklyn Vegan]
Watch Video For Beach House’s “10 Mile Stereo,” Which Looks and Sounds Nothing Like an 8 Mile Stereo, Though You’ll Likely “Lose Yourself in the Music”…Elsewhere, I Apologize For a Dated and Sad Joke [Gorilla vs. Bear]
Gorillaz Debut Plastic Beach Cover Art: An Image of a Plastic Beach (Basically, a Beach Carved Out of those Wax Machines You’d Beg Your Parents to Let You Use at the Zoo); Plastic Beach Released March 9. Stream “Stylo,” Featuring Mos Def and Bobby Womack; Unsurprisingly, It’s a Bowie-Esque Sex Jam [Idolator]
Watch Spoon Play “Written in Reverse,” on Conan, the Lead Single off Transference, Which Was Released Yesterday. Mostly, Though, Just Watch Conan. Dude Has Very Little Airtime Left (And, If You’ve Seen Spoon Once, You’ve Seen Them Too Many Times) [Spin]
Brian Jonestown Massacre Announce U.S. Tour, Supporting the Upcoming Who Killed Sgt. Pepper?; Obviously, Anton and the Rest of the BJM Are Still Too Messed Up to Realize The Police Caught Mark David Chapman in 1980 [NME]
Listen to Thom Yorke Co-Host a Radio Show for BBC Radio 1; Because You Too Can Senselessly Waste Time Virtually Stalking Thom Yorke as the People Over At [Pitchfork] Do (Seriously Though, This Shit’s Boring)
Brooklyn’s Own Golden Triangle Announce Debut Full Length LP Double Jointer, Which Will Most Certainly Be Abrasively Fashionable (If You Need Convincing, Stream This…The Girls Sound Pretty Good Fully Produced (Though I’m Pretty Sure There is Not a Place Called Neon Noose)) [Prefix]
Raekwon Promises Two Albums in 2010, After Taking Well Over a Decade to Follow Up Cuban Linx; He Also Encourages Us to “Rt this crack….,” Which Either Refers to a Tweet as Crack (Funny), or Encourages the Spread of Crack-Cocaine Via the Web (Funnier) [Tiny Mix Tapes]
compiled by Max Sebela